Mundo Maya Online is chockfull of illustrated articles about various aspects of Mayan history and culture. Learn about the Mayan calendar, read Mayan legends, explore Mayan history, archaeology and the natural environment they thrived in. Mundo Maya also has articles about the daily life of the modern Mayans and the handicrafts they make.
The Devastation of Iraq's Past. "Since the looting of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad in April 2003, the international press has accorded considerable space to the country's imperiled ancient heritage. Much of this coverage, however, has been devoted to the museum, the impressive campaign to recover its stolen works, and the continued struggle to reopen its galleries. Only occasional, anecdotal reports—mostly from the first year of the conflict—have borne witness to large-scale plunder of archaeological sites, to which the damage is irreversible."
Butch Cassidy wanted to call his gang The Train Robber's Syndicate, but the name never stuck. The gang's core members - most notable among them The Sundance Kid - and a revolving cast of supporting outlaws were most commonly called The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang and The Wild Bunch, and their goal was to be the most successful train robbers in history. The Butch and Sundance site is a comprehensive collection of "the hundreds, if not thousands, of theories, legends and folk tales" surrounding the gang, including an exhaustive list of biographies of the members, their associates, the lawmen who pursued them and the women who loved them, an archive of transcribed news articles dating from the 1880s (including a letter to the editor from Sundance himself), a picture gallery and more. [more inside]
Burton Holmes, Extraordinary Traveler. Burton Holmes didn't invent travel stories, slide shows, moving pictures or cross-country lectures, but he put them all together and created the travelogue (a term coined by his manager) as performance art. The site is full of information, pictures and additional links (including companion pages about the Trans-Siberian Railroad) chronicling Holmes' life and legacy.
900 caricatures of noted Victorian and Edwardian personages from British society magazine Vanity Fair which ran from 1868 to 1914. Among those pictured are Oscar Wilde, Benjamin Disraeli, Herman Melville, Alfred Dreyfus, Teddy Roosevelt, Gustave Eiffel and Charles Boycott (from whose name comes the word). A couple are mildly not safe for work, a few quite racist, as was the prevalent attitude of the time, and at least one is both.
Prvi svetski rat - Gritty and poignant Serbian postcards from the First World War. Just one of the seriously interesting (e.g. check out the collection of 78s) holdings at the Digital National Library of Serbia.
In a time before the Prius, the custom conversion van ruled the roadways. Pushing the boundaries of the airbrush form, testing the limits of mobile interior design, featuring the latest in automatic pink leather bed, compact toaster, 8-track, and love machine technology, the 70s van was celebrated in song and cinema. You started with a factory model, new or used, and ended at a place limited onlyby your creativity, your budget, and your old lady's patience (NSFW). Ford could make you a man.If push came to shove, you could even live in your van. It was fantasy on wheels: van-tastic, man. [more inside]
Hellenica is an encyclopedia of Greek culture, from classical Hellas, through the Byzantine Empire until the modern day, though its focus is on antiquity and especially the science and technology of Ancient Greece. Featuring technical diagrams and explications, there's no better site if you seek information on gigantic galleys, now obscure great Greek mathematicians, the last still working Ancient lighthouse and gears and how they were used by Archimedes and other ancients. This is not to denigrate other sections of the site, such as the page on the Olympics (including a Google Map of the site of the games), biographies of ancient, Byzantine and modern Greeks, the warring and healing of the Byzantines or the overview of Greek literature, taking in antiquity, the medieval era and modern times. That said, Hellenica is at its finest when treating science and technology.
This is a collection of the National Archives stored in the Digital Vaults. You can browse through hundreds of photographs, documents, and film clips and discover the connection between some of the National Archives' most treasured records. With the Pathways tool you can see the unique and surprising connections between events and people and test your knowledge of history. As you travel through the site and collect documents, images and films, you can then merge the objects to create your own poster or movie from your collection.
The ancient web is an online resource for students, teachers, and anyone interested in the cultures of the ancient world. With the Olympics fast approaching, here is an opportunity to learn more about the past 4500 years of Chinese civilization. Or how the Celtiberians would get drunk and eat raw meat before going to war. 24 ancient civilizations in all.
"In one booklet, I come across the rather fabulous student error that the protesters at Kent State in 1970 were shot by 'the Federal Reserve.'" In his essay "AP Diary," Christopher Phelps shares the true story of what it's like to spend a week grading Advanced Placement exams.
In November 1943, the village of Tyneham in Dorset, England, received an unexpected letter from the War Department, informing residents that the area would soon be "cleared of all civilians" to make way for Army weapons training. A month later, the displaced villagers left a note on their church door: Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly. Residents were told they would be allowed to reclaim their homes after the war, but that didn't happen, and Tyneham became a ghost village. Though most of the cottages have been damaged or fallen into disrepair, the church and school have been preserved and restored. Photo galleries 1, 2, 3, 4. Panoramic tour [Java required]. Video: Death of a Village [YouTube, 9 mins.]
WWJD (Which Words Jefferson Digested) Some Flash
The Sidney D Gamble Photograph Collection at Duke University consists of about 5,000 newly digitised pictures, taken predominantly in China between 1917 and 1932. Browse by subject, category or location tags. Photos taken in 1908 are to be added in the future. [via]
These are the documents that started it all. The Charters of Freedom. As the USA celebrates another Independence Day, the National Archives presents the historical development of the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and their impact upon the nation and the world.
The Book of Accidents: Designed for Young Children (1831). "In presenting to his little readers The Book of Accidents, the Author conceives he cannot render a more important service to the rising generation and to parents, than by furnishing them with an account of the accidents to which Children, from their inexperience or carelessness, are liable. If generally studied it will save the lives of thousands, and relieve many families from the long and unavailing misery attendant on such occurrences." [Via]
Saying His Peace: Rare Recording of Speech by Gandhi Landed in Safe, if Unknowing, Hands. [Via Linkfilter]
The Battle of Gettysburg started on this day in 1863. Here are some essays on Gettysburg from MilitaryHistoryOnline. Here is a virtual tour with photos and maps.
Happy 100th Birthday to SOS. “Send SOS,” one of the Titanic’s radio operators supposedly said to another after the famous ship struck that infamous iceberg. “It’s the new call and besides this may be your last chance to send it.” That “new call” is 100 years old today... (via the J-Walk blog)
The Journal of Footballing History is a scholarly journal about the history of football (soccer) all over the world. You need to register (or "subscribe" as JOFH calls it) but it's free. Gloriously, gloriously free. After you've subscribed you can enjoy articles on matters such as France's footballing culture, a back and forth about the state of African football, a pair of articles about Euro 2000 and what England's dismal failure at that European Championships tells us about the national side and on shooting from free kicks. There are also short histories of kits, boots, passing and squads and a book review section.
Did a 'dream team' of biblical scholars mislead millions? [Chronicle of Higher Education] You may recall the curfuffle over the gnostic "Gospel of Judas" (previously). The National Geographic's documentary premiere "attracted four million viewers, making it the second-highest-rated program in the channel's history, behind only a documentary on September 11. . . . However, it's a perfect example, critics argue, of what can happen when commercial considerations are allowed to ride roughshod over careful research. What's more, the controversy has strained friendships in this small community of religion scholars — causing some on both sides of the argument to feel, in a word, betrayed."
Jean Shepherd has been mentioned before but WFMU's Beware of the Blog has finally dug out an mp3 of Shepherd himself telling the story of "I, Libertine" (mp3 link) (wiki). I, Libertine was a literary hoax that began as a practical joke. Shepherd asked his listeners ("the Night People") to go into bookstores and ask for a book that didn't exist. Fueled by bewildered bookstore owners and distributors, I, Libertine eventually did end up as a genuine bestseller, proving his point that the process of choosing bestsellers was flawed.
webofdeception.com is a bizarre, timecubesque linkdump maintained and updated by private investigator and domain squatter Joseph Culligan. In addition to sleazy dirt-digging on various celebrities and politicians, Culligan also includes a huge resource list of links to databases and public-record searches. [more inside]
Drive-through trees, Olvera Street, Knott's Berry Farm, and lots of other images and postcards of California at Image Archaeology.
Today is June 28th, June 15th on the Julian Calendar, and it holds a great historical significance to Serbia. [more inside]
Avebury. A short, trippy 8mm film shot around the Neolithic stone circles and henge at Avebury, Wiltshire. [Via BB]
Pete Seeger and Majora Carter sit down together and bridge the generational gap with a discussion on environmentalism, activism, history, and music. [more inside]
Every issue of The Times published between 1785-1985, digitally scanned and fully searchable. (Via Wordorigins.org.)
"Cultures at the far edge of the world" (YT) and "The worldwide web of belief and ritual" (YT). Two TED talks by anthropologist and explorer Wade Davis (previously) on the diversity of the world's indigenous cultures and their beliefs, and the richness of the "Ethnosphere," which he describes as "the sum total of all thoughts and dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations, intuitions brought into being by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness." [Via Mind Hacks]
The first known recording of a digital computer playing music, recorded by the BBC in 1951. The music played on a Ferantti Mark 1, one of the first commercial general-use computers, and was entered via punchtape and played on a speaker usually used for making clicks and tones to indicate program progress.
Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were the first to wed in California -- again. Martin and Lyon are best known for founding the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian rights organization in the U.S. Congratulations, Del and Phyllis!
Farming with Dynamite Do stumps, clay or tired old soil have you down? Let "Red Cross" dynamite come to your rescue. (A blast from the past via ) [more inside]
Imago Urbis: Giuseppe Vasi’s Grand Tour of Rome is a rich and innovative geographic database that projects Vasi's 18th century engravings of Roman architecture onto the contemporary map of Giambattista Nolli [previously] with supplementary modern satellite, photographic and mapping overlays together with copious background detail. The work was undertaken by researchers at the University of Oregon (announcement) [via]
With flagrant disregard for their waistlines and their own gustatory limitations, Giles Coren and Sue Perkins (known as The Supersizers) have been going back in time to the diets of their ancestors for the (education?) amusement of the general public (well, people who watch BBC Two). Restoration | Edwardian | Victorian | Wartime | Seventies [more inside]
The Meaning of Box 722. Letters to Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois in reaction to the 1966 civil rights bill, particularly the federal ban on racial discrimination in the sale and rental of housing. At the time, Chicago was the most segregated city in the north, with boundaries enforced by mob violence. By Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland. When I started researching NIXONLAND I knew the congressional elections of 1966 would form a crucial part of the narrative. They'd never really been examined in-depth before, but by my reckoning they were the crucial hinge that formed the ideological alignment we live in now. Via Brad DeLong.
Vanity Fair has a typically excellent article out -- "How the Web Was Won," an oral history of the Web. Even if you're familiar with ARPANet, Metcalfe's Law, Pearl Harbor Day, the VC rush, whatever -- the story told by the often-animated people at the center of the whirlwind is an enlightening and entertaining experience. And for those of you don't know the history of the Internet, learn it! This is part of your heritage now. [more inside]
It's official. Obama has won the Democratic Party nomination for the US Presidency. In response, McCain has launched a "verbal sortie" against him and the media has already begun disecting Hillary's campaign.
The Speculum theologiae is a beautiful medieval manuscript. Its diagrams demonstrate visually various aspects of the medieval worldview. The diagrams are explained and translated and most of them are expounded upon in a short essay. My favorite diagrams are The Cherub with Six Wings, The 10 Commandments, Plagues of Egypt and Abuses of the Impious and The Tree of Virtue and The Tree of Vices.
"Schools should continue to require library research so they can see how old folks used to Google stuff."
The continuity I have in mind has to do with the nature of information itself or, to put it differently, the inherent instability of texts. In place of the long-term view of technological transformations, which underlies the common notion that we have just entered a new era, the information age, I want to argue that every age was an age of information, each in its own way, and that information has always been unstable. Let's begin with the Internet and work backward in time.The Library in the New Age by Robert Darnton, historian and Director of the Harvard Library. A wide-ranging overview of the status of libraries in the modern world, touching on such subjects as: journalist poker games, French people liking the smell of books, bibliography at Google, news dissemination in the 18th Century, book piracy and the different texts of Shakespeare. Some responses: Defending the Library of Google, The Future in the Past and Librarians Need a Better Apologetic.
When King James VII of Scotland died in 1700, Louis XIV of France gave his word and his support to the cause of his son, James VIII, or the "pretender" as he was known to his enemies. One of history's most famous lost causes, the story contains smaller tragedies, like the downfall of the Radclyffe family of Cumbria. An almost embarrassingly romantic tale, it includes a "murdered" (actually executed) Earl (sound), a haunting (and some say haunted ruin), an "incorruptible" corpse, a daring prison escape and, according to at least one novelist, a possible American connection. [more inside]
Leave the planet to travel into the largest structures of the universe, then plunge into the tiniest. Forty two orders of magnitude in thirty six minutes.... Cosmic Voyage. (single link Google video via) [more inside]
State of decay :"Over the years, Boston artist Rosamond Purcell has photographed goliath beetles and translucent bats culled from the backrooms of natural history museums; a collection of teeth pulled by Peter the Great; moles flayed by naturalist Willem Cornelis van Heurn; and scores of worn and weathered objects, like termite-eaten books and fish skeletons."